This study considers the position of the individual worker who engages in a strike or industrial action, described as one of the fundamental human liberties protected by international law. This chapter gives a background of the study by presenting an account of the strike at Wapping on 24 January 1984. The employers there responded to the strike by dismissing some 5,500 workers. The Wapping dispute clearly demonstrated the powerlessness of workers faced with an aggressive management determined to introduce change into the workplace. It highlighted a central weakness of British labour law where a strike or other forms of industrial action is a breach of contract by the workers involved.
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